We almost published the boat rules last issue, with the other variants. But after looking at the manuscripts, I realized that if I ran it, there would be no room for anything else in the issue. So "Boats in Car Wars" was pushed back one mor time - to this issue...
The three authors named above all sent in complete sets of boat rules, and each treated major sections of the rules in completely different ways. It was a new, unique challenge for me as editor to take the three pieces, select the best parts from each, and somehow come up with one set of rules. I hope you like it.
The following rules are a variant. While fun, they are not part of the "official" Car Wars rules.
Boat sizeCostWeightMax. loadspacesArmor cost/wt.HC Rowboat2001008006$5/3 lbs.3 Dinghy40001300300010$13/6 lbs.2 Speeder80002700700017(+3)$20/10 lbs.2 Cruiser2000054001500025(+12)$30/15 lbs.1 Yacht45000100004000040(+18)$36/18 lbs.1 Power PlantPriceWeightSpacesDPPower Factors Mini30010022500 Small1000300331000 Medium3000500442500 Large6500800665000 Super100001200888000 Heavy-Duty200004000121613000
The column headings used above should be familiar to all Car Wars players. The four smaller boats are armored in five locations: Front, Left, Right, Back, and Bottom. The Yacht is armored in eight locations: Front, Front Left, Back Left, Front Right, Back Right, Back, Front Bottom, and Back Bottom. Armor may be made Fireproof, Laser Reflective, Laser Reflective/Fireproof, or even Metal, at the regular cost and weight penalties. As with land vehicles, armor types may not be mixed.
The Row boat is represented by a 1/2" x 1/2" counter. The Dinghy and Speeder use a 1" x 1/2" counter. The Cruiser uses a 1 1/2" x 3/4" counter, and the Yacht uses a 2 1/2" x 1" counter.
Boats cannot have their HC altered except with certain accessories (see below), and the maximum load cannot be modified in any way.
The cargo space listed in the larger boats is not necessarily in any one place, like a dank cargo hold; it also includes open space on deck and other places. The point of cargo space is that vehicular components cannot be put in it - only passengers and cargo may.
Again, the abbreviations used above should be familiar to everybody.
Top speed and acceleration are both calculated by comparing a power plant's power factors to the weight of the boat bing moved:
Power Factors/WeightAccelerationTop Speed 2 or greater20 mph/turn100mph 1 to 1.99915 mph/turn80 mph .50 to .99910 mph/turn60 mph .333 to .4995 mph/turn40 mph .100 to .3322.5 mph/turn20 mph .050 to .0992.5 mph/turn2.5 mph less than .05000For example, if a Speeder weighing 4980 lbs. carried a Medium power plant (with 2500 power factors), it would fall in the ".50 to .999" category (2500 divided by 4980 equals .502) - the boat would have an acceleration of 10 mph/turn and a top speed of 60 mph. the same boat with a Mini power plant (500 power factors) would still move, but just barely - go ahead and figure it out.
Recharging a boat power plant costs $50 and takes 10 minutes, just like most other power plants. A boat can go 200 miles on a charge, based on a constant speed of 20 mph. For every 10 mph of extra speed the number of "power units" consumed per 10 miles travelled goes up by 2; at 30 mph, it costs 12 units to go 10 miles, at 50 mph it costs 16 units, etc. There is no power savings for going slower than 20 mph.
Boat power plants may exceed their maximum speed for short periods of time by "pushing" the plant. The rules are the same as for car power plants.
Boat power plants are always placed in the rear of the boat, and if the boat is equipped with a Deck (see below), in the rear of the below-deck area.
A damaged propeller does not affect a boat's performance in any way. If the propeller is destroyed, the boat decelerates 2.5 mph/turn until it comes to a stop. propeller armor may be bought - it costs $10 and weighs 4 lbs. per point (just like wheelguards) and protects just like wheelguards; on a 1-4 on one die, the armor takes any damage directed at the propeller, and on a 5 or 6 the damage skips the armor and goes directly to the propeller. No more than 10 points of armor may be bought for a propeller.
Power Plant SizePropeller CostWeightDP Mini$20102 Small$50154 Medium$75255 Large$100408 Super$2007512 Heavy-Duty$50015018
Anti-Tank Gun: May not be mounted on a Row boat; can only be mounted to front or back of Dinghy.
Tank Gun: May not be mounted on a Rowboat or Dinghy; can only be mounted to front or back of Speeder or Cruiser. (Actually, because of the 1/3-spaces rule, a 10 space Tank Gun can only fit on a Yacht, anyway...)
Wire-Guided Missile: Cannot be fired at another surface target at a range of over 6", because the trailing wire will dip into the water, shorting the system. After the missile travels 6", it automatically goes to straight-line movement. May be fired normally at airborne targets.
Spikedopper: Has no effect on boats, as the spikes sink immediately upon release.
Oil Jet: Oil has no effect on boats or anything else in the water, including swimmers.
Flaming Oil: Not a hazard to a boat's handing, but does normal damage to the Bottom armor. Will also affect swimmers.
Smoke Weapons: Normal effect above the surface, no affect underwater (the smoke bubbles to the surface, then disperses harmlessly).
Paint Weapons: Normal effect above the surface. A paint cloud will also work normally below the surface, except it will last 10 seconds before the currents disperse it.
Minedropper: Regular mines have no effect; they sink immediately, and will not detonate if they hit anything while sinking. Special amphibious mines are available at double the cost (regular mines only; not Spear 1000 or napalm or any other) and are fired from an unmodified minedropper. Amphibious mines float on the surface and are treated just like regular mines.
Torpedo: To hit special, 3 dice damage, 3 DP. $300, 100 lbs; 1 space. Burst effect. Very similar to a Heavy Rocket, except it travels at 50 mph. (This is regardless of the speed or orientation of the firing boat - the moment it leaves the boat, it begins to travel at 50 mph in the direction fired. If fired forward by a boat traveling faster than 50 mph, the boat runs into the back of the torpedo, setting it off.) The torpedo travels 1/4" below the surface of the water, and will pass over objects deeper than that. Use a missile counter (or other 1/4" x 1/2" counter) to represent the torpedo, and move it in a straight line. The torpedo cannot be detected visually by anything more than 4" away from it. If the torpedo counter collides with any other solid object of reasonable size (not a beach ball, but a rock, or a boat ...), it hits automatically - roll for damage. When a boat is hit by a torpedo, the Bottom armor is affected.
Homing Torpedo: To hit special, 3 dice damage, 3 DP. $750, 120 lbs; 1 space. Burst effect. As above, but the torpedo travels in a straight line only until a boat-sized object is detected in the torpedo's front arc of fire within a 24" range. If more than one object present comes in range simultaneously, the torpedo picks the closer one; if at equal distances, it picks the larger one; if sizes are also equal, roll randomly.
Once a target has been selected, the torpedo will "home in" on the target, turning up to 15 degrees (a Swerve on the turning key) every phase it moves, with no possible loss of control. If the locked-on target manages to escape the torpedo's front arc of fire, or gets further than 24" away, the lock-on is lost, and the torpedo resumes straight-line movement until it finds another target. When the torpedo counter reaches the target, it hits automatically - roll for damage. A Homing Torpedo will not "lock on" to the beach, or a rock, or even a large fish, but only a boat-like object.
After traveling 120", target locked on or not, the torpedo will decelerate 2.5 mph per turn, still turning to chase a locked-on target. If it gets to 0 mph without hitting anything, it will sink to the ocean floor; on a roll of 1 on one die, the torpedo will explode whin it hits the bottom. Otherwise, it settles on the bottom, and can be recovered, refitted (for 1/4 the original cost), and reused.
Depth Charge: To Hit special, 2 dice damage, 2 DP. Cost $250, weight 75 lbs; 2 spaces. 3 shots, CPS 500, WPS 100. Loaded cost: $1750; loaded weight 375 lbs. Loaded magazine costs $1550, weighs 315 lbs. Each charge must be set to go off at a particular depth. This setting can be changed, but only before the charges are loaded into the weapon. When fired, the charge drops off the back (or side) of the boat, and immediately sinks at a rate of 1" per turn. When the charge reaches its preset depth, it goes off, doing its damage in a 2" radius. In addition, it acts like a concussion grenade within a $" radius.
Obviously, accessories that improve a land vehicle's handling or maneuverability, like anti-lock brakes, active suspension, etc; cannot be used on boats. The only exception is the Spoiler, which will reduce the difficulty of any maneuver performed at 40 mph or over by 1. A Spoiler can only be mounted on Speeders and smaller.
Deck: Not all boats have a Deck, therefore, it's listed here as an accessory. a Deck is a floor that is above the keel of the boat. A Deck divides a boat into two sections, Below Deck and Above Deck, and has a hatch or stairway opening so crew, cargo, and equipment can be moved between the two. The player may decide how many spaces out of a boat's total are allocated to the two sections, but neither section can have less than 1/3 of the total. There is no restriction on cargo and non-cargo spaces; you can make all the below-deck spaces cargo and all the above-deck spaces non-cargo, or any other combination. The deck itself takes up no weight of space, and is armored at the same cost as the rest of the boat. (A Deck on a Yacht is armored in two locations: Front Deck and Back Deck.) A Rowboat cannot have a Deck; Cruisers and Yachts must have this item.
Boat Top: A roof on a boat, completely enclosing the interior. A Boat Top costs and weighs 10% of the cost and weight of the basic boat body. A Boat Top may be armored (at the same cost as the rest of the boat), and may also mount a turret. A Rowboat may mount the Zero-Space Turret; a Dinghy may mount a 1-space turret; a Speeder can mount up to a 2-space turret; the Cruiser may mount up to a 3-space turret; and the Yacht can mount any size turret. In addition, the Yacht may also mount more than one turret, one in the Front Top location, and one in the Back Top location. The Yacht Boat Top is armored in two locations, too.
Half Top: similar to the Boat Top, except it only covers the front half to the boat. leaving the rear deck open to the sky. The Half Top costs and weighs half as much as a full top for the same boat. A Half Top may be armored at the regular cost, and may mount a turret (with the same restrictions as above, except a Yacht boat with a Half Top may only mount a single turret). When attacked from above, determine which arc of fire the attack is coming from; If the attack is coming from the rear quadrant, the Half Top is bypassed completely; from the side, the Half Top is bypassed on a roll of 7 or more on 2 dice; and from the front quadrant, the Half Top is bypassed only on a roll of 11 or 12 on 2 dice. Remember, this is for attacks from above only.
Oars: Oars can be used by Rowboats and Dinghies for emergency movement. They weigh 10 lbs; take up 1 space, and cost $25 for a pair. Additional rowers will make the boat go faster; Top speed is 2.5 mph per rower, ut to a maximum of 15 mph. Acceleration is always 2.5 mph/turn, no matter how many rowers are used.
Sonar: $4,000, 100 lbs; 1 space. Operates like radar, except it shows objects in and under the water, rather than above it. Sonar will detect boats, swimmers, underwater objects, and anything the size of a torpedo or larger. sonar will also reveal the depth of the sea bottom to within 1" (roll one die: on a 1-2, reading is 1" shallower than real depth; on a 3-4, reading is correct; on a 5-6, reading is 1" deeper than actual depth.) directly under the boat. sonar has a maximum range of 1000", but only Yachts can be spotted at that range. Cruisers can be spotted within 500", Speeders within 200", and smaller boats within 100".
Hydrofoils: Cost 100% of body cost, weight 50% of body weight, 1 space. When a boat reaches 35 mph, the hydrofoils automatically lift the boat out of the water. (This is automatic - a boat equipped with this item must rise at this speed). Once out of the water, the boat has its top speed increased by 20 mph, though acceleration is unaffected. A boat on hydrofoils has its HC increased by 1, and the Bottom of the boat can be targeted (at a -3) by weapons on other boats. The hydrofoils themselves car be targeted at -6 and have 15 DP; if they are destroyed, the boat falls back into the water and immediately rolls on the Boat Crash Table (see below) with a +2 modifier, in addition to any modifiers for the boat's speed.
Weighted Keel: cost 50% of body cost, weight 10% of maximum load, no space. If a boat capsizes and has a weighted keel, it stays capsized for only 5 turns. On the sixth, the boat rights itself and may function normally. The weighted keel increases the draft of the boat by 1/2" (draft will be explained below). A Weighted Keel may not be placed on a Rowboat or Dinghy.
Bilge Pump: $500, 200 lbs; 1 space. On a roll of 1-4 on one die, a bilge pump will pump out 1 space of water, once per turn at the end of the turn. Turning on a bilge pump is a firing action, and they cannot be left on continually - if they run more than 5 total turns with nothing to pump, they burn out and must be replaced. Multiple bilge pumps may be installed for added safety.
Jet Drives: $5000, 500 lbs; 2 spaces. Jet drives replace propellers, and increase calculated acceleration by 5 mph/turn and top speed by 20 mph. A boat's power plant must have at least half as many power factors as the weight of the boat before a Jet Drive will operate at all.
Life Raft: $500, 25 lbs; no space. A four man inflatable raft. Triggering the inflation device is a firing action. Raft inflates in 3 turns, and contains a radio transponder so searchers can find the raft. There are compartments for storing other emergency items (food, water, first aid kit, etc.), but these must be bought separately. The Life Raft is treated the same as a Rowboat for weather conditions, etc; and uses the same size counter.
Passenger Accommodations: $500, 100 lbs; 2 spaces. Comfortable bunks which convert to daytime couch/lounging areas. Passenger Accommodations may be placed in cargo space.
Galley: $750, 150 lbs; 1 space. Small counter area, with cooking stove and mini-refrigerator - enough to cook reasonably small and simple meals. One week's rations for four can be stored here. Larger or more complex kitchen set-ups will be bulkier and more expensive.
Marine Radio: $1000, no weight or space. This radio has a range of hundreds of miles on the marine frequencies, and also performs the same functions as a LD Radio for the land based frequencies.
Darter: Rowboat, Medium power plant, Propeller, Pilot only. No weapons. Armor: F2, R1, L1, B1, U3. Accel. 20, Top Speed 100, HC 3, 799 lbs; $3,315.
Piranha: Dinghy, Small power plant, Propeller, Pilot only. VGM front, 2 linked torpedoes back, Fire extinguisher. Armor: F15, R15, L15, B12, U15. Accel. 5, Top Speed 40, HC 2, 2,997 lbs; $9,636.
Minnow: Dinghy, Medium power plant, 2 Propellers, Pilot, 2 Passengers. MML with AP rockets front, MG with HD ammo back, Targeting computer, Marine Radio. Fireproof Armor: F12, R10, L10, B10, U10. Accel. 10, Top Speed 60, HC 2, 3,000 lbs; $13,552.
Moray: Speeder, Large power plant, 2 Propellers, Half Top, Pilot, Gunner. Laser front, 2 Homing torpedoes (one each R, L), sonar, Bilge pump, Improved fire extinguisher, Life raft, Marine radio. Armor: F20, R20, L20, B15, T15, U24, 2 10-point propeller guards. Cargo capacity: 3 spaces, 500 lbs. Accel. 10, Top Speed 60, HC 2, 6,500 lbs; $33,580.
This is a smuggler's boat, good for small, valuable cargoes. it's fast, and fairly well-armed.
Flying Fish: Speeder with Deck. Below Deck: Super power plant, Jet drives, Hydrofoils. Above Deck: Pilot, Homing torpedo back, 2 Bilge pumps, Improved fire extinguisher, Radar, Marine radio, cargo spaces. No armor Cargo capacity: 3 spaces, 380 lbs. Accel. 20, Top Speed 120, HC 2 (3 on foils), 6,620 lbs; $36,750.
Speed is the key to this one-man smuggling operation. Without armor, this boat will never fight, preferring to get out of rang in a hurry.
Guppy: Cruiser with Boat Top. Below Deck: Super power plant, 2 Propellers, cargo space. Above Deck: Pilot, 3 linked APHRs and targeting laser in turret, 3 3-space rocket magazines feeding into turret, 9 APHRs in magazines, Bilge pump, Improved fire extinguisher, Sleeping accommodations for 1, Marine radio. Armor F40, R40, L40, B40, T40, U46. Cargo capacity: 12 spaces, 1,005 lbs, Accel. 10, Top Speed 60, HC 1, 13,995 lbs; $50,130.
Another one-man boat, this baby not only hauls a lot of cargo, but can deliver devastating firepower in a battle. It's only weakness is a severe ammo limitation - it can't handle a prolonged battle.
Lucky Catch: Cruiser with Half Top. Below Deck: Large power plant, 2 Propellers, Sleeping accommodations for 6 in cargo space. Above Deck: Pilot, Gunner, MG front, Sleeping accommodations for 2, Galley, Sonar, Bilge pump, Improved fire extinguisher, Marine radio. Armor: F10, R7, L7, B3, T3, U10. Accel. 10, Top Speed 60, HC 1, 10,000 lbs; $41,150.
Heavy Armor Option: Armor: F65, R60, L60, B60, T50, U78. Accel.5, Top Speed 40, 14,995 lbs; $51,140 This is a charter fishing boat, designed to take a group of people out for a day of relaxation and fun. The MG and armor is more window dressing than serious defence. The Heavy Armor Option provides more effective security.
Refuge: Yacht with Half Top. Below Deck: Heavy-Duty power plant, Jet drives, Sleeping accommodations for 4 in cargo space, Deluxe stateroom for 1 ($5,00, 500 lbs, 10 spaces) in cargo space. Above Deck: Pilot, 5 Passengers, Deluxe Galley ($5,000, 1,000 lbs; 4 spaces), Sonar, Radar, Marine radio, Infrared, 3 Bilge pumps, Improved fire extinguisher, Weighted keel, Life raft, 2 Homing torpedoes front, Portable earth station, 2 solar panels. Laser-Reflective Fireproof Armor: F90, FR85, BR85, FL85, BL85, B80, T70, FU100, BU100. Accel. 10, Top Speed 60, HC 1, 38,589 lbs; $195,150.
This is an off-shore base used by a crime lord. The other four passengers are usually advisers and bodyguards. Since someone is on watch at all times, there are only 4 crew sleeping spaces. The Refuge has minimal weaponry - it is strictly a defensive installation, and is usually accompanied by escort boats with more firepower. The solar panels mean the boat can run essentially as long as the food supplies hold out, while the portable earth station keeps the crime lord in touch with his operations.
Orca: Yacht with Boat Top. Below Deck: Large power plant, 2 Propellers, Sleeping accommodations for 4 in cargo space, 6 Homing torpedoes (2 f, 1 R, 1 L, 2 B). Above Deck: Pilot, 3 Gunners, 2 RRs linked in back universal turret, 2 lasers linked in front universal turret, Tank gun with extra magazine front. Galley, Marine radio, 2 Bilge pumps, Improved fire extinguisher, Sonar, Radar, 4 Hi-res targeting computers. Armor: F100, FR100, BR100, FL100, BL100, B100, FT100, BT100, FD50, BD50, FU143, BU143. Accel. 2.5, Top Speed 20, HC 1, 39,993 lbs; $172,196.
A battlewagon, no more, no less. The "FD" and "BD" armor designations indicate the deck is also armored, in Front Deck and Back Deck positions.
Movement for boats is handled almost exactly the same way as for cars, with a couple of exceptions. First, the larger a boat is, the fewer difficult maneuvers it can perform.
A Yacht may only perform D1 or D2 maneuvers normally; D3 maneuvers may be performed, but they are at +2 difficulty; and more difficult maneuvers cannot be performed.
A Cruiser may Perform D1 or D2 maneuvers normally; D3 maneuvers are preformed at a +1 difficulty; and D4 through D6 maneuvers are performed at a +2 difficulty.
A Speeder may perform D1 through D5 maneuvers normally, and a D6 maneuver is performed at a +1 difficulty.
Dinghies and Rowboats may perform all maneuvers through D6 normally.
No boat may perform a bootlegger turn.
The other difference in the way boats move is a subtle but important one. When changing direction with a swerve or bend, a land vehicle will move forward one inch, and then pivot on a back corner to change direction. This is because the steering mechanism is in the front of the vehicle. Boats are steered from the back - so when a boat changes direction, the pivot must be done first, and then the boat is moved forward one inch (see diagram below).
These turns can still be accomplished using a turning key, but it is a little trickier. To accomplish a D3 Hard Swerve (for example), place the back corner of the boat counter on the marked point on the key, making sure the counter is parallel to the first half of the turn. Then pivot the counter into the key until it touches the edge - that's the turn. Then, move the counter straight ahead one inch, and the maneuver is completed (see diagram below).
There is one other option that all boats (including those with Jet Drive) have - dropping anchor. Anchors are standard equipment on all boats, included in the initial cost and weight, and permanently attached by a 10" cable or chain. (If the anchor cannot reach the bottom because the water is too deep, then the anchor cannot help with deceleration.) When an anchor is dropped, it descends at the rate of 2" per turn; when it hits the bottom, there is an extra deceleration of 15 mph/turn. For every turn the boat continues to move, roll two dice; on a 2 or 12, the cable or chain breaks, and the anchor (and its deceleration) is lost. Replacing an anchor costs 2% of the body cost of the boat it is attached to.
All boats can move in reverse, at 2.5 mph/turn acceleration and a top speed of 5 mph (unless the engine's top speed is less - then use the smaller top speed). This is because the back of a boat doesn't cut through the water the way the front of a boat does.
Rowboats have no apprciable draft, and can operate in any depth of water.
dinghies have a draft of 1/4", which lets them operate in all but the shallowest waters.
Speeders have a draft of 1/2".
Cruisers have a draft of 1".
Yachts have a draft of 1 1/2".
If a boat enters water of a depth exactly equal to its draft, it scrapes bottom. This is a hazard (see above), and the hazard's D value is assessed every turn. If a Hard bottom is scraped (concrete, coral, rocks, etc.), also roll one die: On a 1, the Bottom armor of the boat takes 1 point of damage. This damage roll is also made every turn. There is no possibility of damage when a Soft bottom (mud, sand) is scraped.
When a boat hits water of a depth less than its draft, it runs aground. When a boat runs aground, assess regular collision damage to the Bottom of the boat, based on the speed the boat was going. (Subtract 2 points per die of damage rolled when a boat grounds on a soft bottom.) The boat is also stuck.
If the bottom armor takes damage from either scraping or hitting bottom, roll another die: On a 1-3, the propeller(s) also take damage - assess the same number of dice of damage the Bottom armor took.
If the referee is kind enough to consider tides or other factors, getting unstuck may simply be a case of "waiting it out." If you attempt to get the boat out on its own power, it requires a roll of 8 or better on two dice. In addition, the roll to get unstuck is modified as follows:
Example: Chasing a Dinghy full of tobacco-smugglers, Capt. LeGrande of the Louisiana Coast Guard bears down in his high-powered Cruiser at 30 mph. The smugglers know this particular bay very well, however, and dart up an inlet where the water is only 1/2" deep. LeGrande follows, and before his sonar man can shout a warning, plows into the muddy bottom. The Bottom armor of the Cruiser takes collision damage at 50 mph - 5 dice. LeGrande rolls an 18, but because the bay bottom is soft, subtracts 2 per die, and the Bottom armor takes 8 points of damage. Then LeGrande rolls to see if his propellers are damaged, and gets a 3 - bad news! The Cruiser boat has two propellers, each of which has 8 DP, but are protected by 10-point propeller guards. For the first propeller, LeGrande rolls 5 dice, gets 14, subtracts 10 for the soft bottom, then rolls a 4 on one die (to see if the propeller guard takes the damage) - so the remaining 4 points of damage are absorbed by the propeller guard. For the second propeller, LeGrand rolls a 19, subtracts 10, then rolls a 2 - so the remaining 9 points of damage are also absorbed by the propeller guard.
LeGrande now tries to get his Cruiser unstuck. It takes a roll or 8 or better on two dice, but he has to subtract 3 from the roll for hitting the bottom at 30 mph, and add 1 for having two propellers. The total modifier is -2. LeGrande takes dice in hand, and rolls a 7, which is modified to a 5 - not very good. An hour later, he can try again...
If outside help is required to unground a boat, the operation will take 1 hour and cost $1,000 for every 5,000 lbs. of the boat weight (round up). The equipment needed to do the job is very specialized and expensive, and they will not enter an active battle area, no matter how much money they are offered. Fiendish referees may also want to consider the possibility that such specialized services are just not available in the vicinity of the wreck, and that it may take a day (or two, or three...) for the equipment to arrive, with a commensurately higher price.
Crew and passengers above deck can be targeted, assuming the boat does not also have a Top. If the boat does have a top, of course, the crew cannot be targeted. If a boat has a Half Top, the crew can always be targeted by an attack from the boat's rear arc of fire; the crew can be targeted on a roll of 7 or better on two dice on any attack from the side; and on an attack from the front, the crew can be targeted on a roll of 11 or 12 on two dice. Of course, if a particular passenger or crew member is below deck, he or she cannot be targeted.
The Bottom armor location of a boat warps around somewhat to include a couple of feet of each side of the boat below the waterline. This is why a torpedo affects Bottom armor, and why the Bottom can be targeted on a hydrofoil that is out of the water. Unfortunately, the Bottom cannot be regularly targeted by other boats; what the surface of the water doesn't deflect, the water simply absorbs. Even laser fire will not penetrate, as most natural bodies of water have enough algae, dirt, bacteria, etc; suspended in it to block laser fire as effectively as any smokescreen. Infrared lasers will not be effective underwater, either.
FRONT: Front armor; Front-firing weapons; Cargo, Accessories, or Crew; Power plant; Rear-firing weapons; Back armor.
BACK: As above, but in reverse order.
LEFT: Left armor; Left-firing weapons; Cargo, Crew, Accessories, or Power plant; Right-firing weapons; Right armor.
RIGHT: As above, but in reverse order.
TOP: Top armor (or Half top if hit); Turreted weapons; Above deck Cargo, Accessories, or Crew; Deck armor; Below deck Cargo, Crew, Accessories, or Power plant; Bottom armor.
BOTTOM: Roll 2 dice: On a 11 or 12, Propellers, then as above, but in reverse order. On a 2-10, as above, but in reverse order.
When the Bottom armor is breached, at least 1 space of water will be taken on per turn. Roll one die: On a 1-4, 1 space of water comes in; on a 5-6, 2 spaces' worth of water comes in.
When the Side armor is breached, 1 space of water is taken on every time a maneuver is made to the side Opposite the breach. For example, if a boat makes a swerve to the left, the right side of the boat will allow 1 space of water in, assuming the right side armor is breached.. This will happen every time a swerve or bend is performed; if a boat swerves four times in a turn, four spaces of water will come in.
When the Front armor is breached, 1 space of water is taken on every time the boat moves forward one inch. This can sink a boat fast. If the boat is stationary or traveling in reverse, no water will come in a front breach.
When the Back armor is breached, no water will come in, unless the boat is moving in reverse. Then, 1 space of water will be taken on every time the boat moves backward one inch.
Each space of water adds 500 lbs. of weight to the boat; this is important for computing acceleration. For game purposes the water fills no spaces, but fills in the room between components.
When a boat has taken on 1/4 of its total spaces in water, all maneuvers are at a +D2, and the power plant will short out on a roll of 1-2 on one die (rolled once). When the boat has taken on 1/2 its total spaces in water, maneuvers are at +D3, and the plant will short out on a 1-4 on one die. When the boat is 3/4 filled with water, the plant shorts out and no more maneuvers are possible. When the boat is completely filled with water, it immediately sinks. Anyone still below deck must roll a 1 or 2 on one die to escape; otherwise, they go down with the ship. Anyone above deck must roll a 3 or better on two dice; on the unlucky 2, your foot was caught in the railing, or something else equally unfortunate. Of course, simply escaping the sinking boat does not guarantee survival - see below.
Swimming is a skill. Anyone with Swimming at base skill will move as described above. Anyone with additional levels of Swimming move an extra 2.5 mph, and someone with Swimming +4 would swim at 10 mph. 10 mph is the fastest anyone can swim, no matter what their skill.
If someone ends up in water above their head without the Swimming skill, expect trouble. Such a person can try to move in a general direction, but the fastest they can go is 2.5 mph. Also, roll 2 dice every turn; on a 2, the poor unfortunate goes down for the last time. In Stormy Seas, the roll is a 2 or 3; In a Major Storm, a non-swimmer will drown on a 2-4; And in a Hurricane, the roll is 2-6.
Swimmers may swim underwater for up to 30 seconds, plus 10 seconds for every Swimming skill level above base level. Swimmers underwater can only be damaged by underwater explosions (torpedoes or grenades), or hand weapons fired at 1/4" range or closer, or by hand-to-hand combat. Underwater swimmers may not attack anything except other underwater swimmers, either hand-to-hand or with a hand weapon fired at 1/4" range or less. Underwater swimmers may also not notice important above-surface events, at the referee's discretion. Swimmers running out of time must come up for air, or drown immediately. Underwater swimmers should keep track of their depth - they can climb or dive at the same rate they can swim. Non-swimmers cannot swim underwater for any distance or any length of time.
Swimmers on the surface or underwater swimmers at a depth above the draft depth of a boat may be run over. The swimmer takes collision damage just like a pedestrian hit by a car, but subtract 10 mph from the boat's speed.
Hand weapons may be taken underwater and used, but every time one is fired, roll one die; on a 1 or 2, the weapon stops working, and will not work again until it is thoroughly cleaned. Weapons can be sealed for underwater use, at cost equal to 50% of the original cost of the weapon. Remember, hand weapons only have a range of 1/4" underwater.
water is very good at cushioning falls. When a person jumps out of a moving boat, or jumps off a bridge, or whatever, the water does damage as if it were a collision with solid ground at 40 mph less than the actual speed.
If a swimmer wants to board a boat from the water, consult this table, and roll 2 dice equal to or better than the number shown. A swimmer cannot board a Yacht unless someone throws him a rope or extends a ladder. Boarding a Cruiser is at a -2 to the numbers shown below:
Life Jacket: $75, 2 grenade-equivalents. A person wearing this item who also has the Swimming skill has no chance of drowning, except in a Major Storm (on a roll or 2 on 2 dice, rolled once every minute) or a Hurricane (on a roll or 2-4 on 2 dice, rolled once every minute). A non-swimmer wearing this item is also safe from drowning, more or less. Instead of rolling once per turn (as above), roll once per hour.
Scuba gear: $400, $1000 for a suit that will also act as body armor, 3 grenade-equivalents. Complete scuba rules are given in ADQ 4/2. Tanks hold enough air for four hours of underwater swimming.
Speargun: $200, 2 grenade-equivalents, to het 8, 2 pts. damage. The spears are $15 ($20 with line), and one grenade-equivalent per 3. The speargun fires a single shot; reloading takes two turns.
A grasshopper may also be made amphibious, at the same additional costs listed above. Grasshoppers may only use mini or small helicopter power plants; when calculating their acceleration and top speed on water, use the listed power factors.